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Acta Haematol. 2004;111(1-2):56-66.

Apoptosis of neutrophils.

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Emma Children's Hospital, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Regulation of the neutrophil life span by apoptosis provides a fine balance between their function as effector cells of host defense and a safe turnover of these potentially harmful cells. Alterations of neutrophil apoptosis are associated with a number of diseases. As do other cell types, neutrophils possess components of both extrinsic and intrinsic apoptotic routes. The intrinsic pathway of apoptosis seems to be of major importance in neutrophils since they are programmed for a rapid spontaneous cell death. However, in neutrophils this mechanism of apoptosis has special features, probably due to peculiarities of neutrophil mitochondria, which are believed to be a core regulator of intrinsic cell death. A better understanding of mechanisms underlying neutrophil cell death would help to understand neutrophil physiology and contribute to the search of new approaches for handling of pathology related to disturbances in neutrophil apoptosis and also increase our knowledge of inflammation in general.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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